Benoit Plateus: The Rhetoric of the Image

03.11.2014 - Dries Tack

In 2001, freshly graduated from the ERG, Benoit Plateus was part of the big exhibition curated by Laurent Jacob at Tours&Taxis : Ici et maintenant, Belgian System. Albert Baronian immediately noticed him, as well as other galleries, collectors and institutions. Ever since then, Benoit has fed on the unseen - a special atmosphere in Helsinki, an unexpected comic book about Michael Jackson or a PlayStation magazine may influence his work.

What is the central theme of your work? Images. We are more than ever surrounded by images. But as one of my professors at the ERG said, those images are actually related to text. They are constructed to convey specific meanings and specific messages and are therefore time-related. The textual anchorage is obvious in relation to advertisements, captioned photographs, cartoons and comics but is also present in non-advertising images like on Instagram. Most of these images will disappear in 20 years. I try to offer images that resist this fashion effect using a strong visual language. I work in a very intuitive mode and like to be surprised with the result. Are you sometimes surprised in a negative way? Most of my attempts are not workable. For the good ones I use my living room as a test room. I like to see a work in the morning with a not-yet-woken-up eye and late at night when I come back home a bit drunk. After three weeks, I see which ones make sense or not. Could you describe your current project? I am working on a cinema series. I shot a book containing pictures of celebrities like Geraldine Chaplin, Kate Winslet and Vanessa Redgrave. I played with the reflection of sunlight and used a certain angle to make the photographic ink shine. The result I am looking for is a burnt image with a texture effect. The only way to maintain this sensitivity is to use silver based photography and printing. I started working on this series last year for the solo show on the Albert Baronian booth at Art Brussels. Two photographs were recently featured for the opening of Yoko Uhoda, a brand new gallery in Liege, and another one was part of a group show curated by Marc Le Blanc at Michael Thibault Gallery in Los Angeles. Where will your work be on view in the near future? There is currently a group show in Paris at Jeanroch Dard Gallery and another in the artist Manor Grunewald’s studio in Ghent. In February, I will be in residency with my friend Jean Baptiste Bernadet in Los Angles and an exhibition will follow. In June, I will participate with over twenty artists in Mons 2015. An exhibition titled atopolis, supported by the WIELS, will be shown till October 2015 in le Manège de Sury. www.albertbaronian.com/artists/23-benoit-plateus Helena Heukeshoven for Belgian Boutique 2014

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